Haw-berry Ketchup

As well as picking the last of the blackberries over the last few days (they are lovely on granola for breakfast !) I have also been picking Hawthorn berries.

Many people don’t know that Hawthorn berries are edible. You have to be careful not to eat the seed/small stone inside because like some other fruit stones it does contain cyanide….

The edges of the towpaths have an abundance of Hawthorn bushes and this year they have been full of berries. The berries themselves can help to reduce your cholesterol and blood pressure (all good things to do !).

A delicious way of eating them is to make them in to a ketchup. This can be used on many different foods.

The starting point for my recipe was a recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, I didn’t have all the right ingredients so I adapted it to what I did actually have in the cupboards on the boat.


  • 500g Hawthorn berries with stalks/leaves removed (this is easiest to do as you are picking them !)
  • 300ml White Wine Vinegar
  • 300ml Water
  • 170g Granulated Sugar
  • Salt (I used sea salt)
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper


  1. Put the Hawthorn berries, vinegar and water in to a pan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 mins. The skins of the berries should split and they will change colour (see the first two photos below).
  2. Scoop this mix a ladle full at a time in to a sieve and squish it through in to a clean saucepan. This leaves the seeds, skin and any other “bits” behind.
  3. Add the sugar, salt & pepper to the pan (I used about 1/2 tsp salt and 6 or 7 turns of my pepper mill).
  4. Bring this to the boil and simmer for 5 mins stirring well to stop it burning on the bottom.
  5. Pour this in to a clean dry bottle or jar. Allow it to cool and store it in the fridge. The only jar I had handy was an empty jam jar (454g) and this mix filled it.

In theory you should leave it a few weeks to mature but we had some the next day and it really is delicious 🙂

, , ,
%d bloggers like this: